Apple Users Are Holding Onto Their Devices for Longer Than Ever

MacBook Air on table

Apple users are showing a strong preference for holding onto their devices for longer periods before upgrading, according to a new report by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) and analysis by Mark Gurman at Bloomberg.

The data reveals a big increase in the number of users keeping their iPhones, iPads, and Macs for more than two years. For iPhones, 71% of recent buyers had a previous phone older than two years, up from 63% in 2020. Similarly, 68% of new Mac owners had a previous computer older than two years, compared to 59% just four years ago.

There are several reasons behind this shift in user behavior.

  • One factor is the lack of big new features in new Apple products, but it’s more like a trend in the tech industry. Upgrades often seem incremental, failing to justify the cost of a new device.
  • Apple products have become much more reliable and durable, with breakdowns happening less frequently. This means iOS upgrades now last for six years. (still a year less than a few Androids, at least on paper)

The rise of cloud-based services and web apps has lessened the need for ever-increasing processing power on Macs, and the trend is super clear for Macs. Many users find their current Macs have enough storage and speed to handle their daily tasks. With a longer battery life, users are less compelled to upgrade to a newer model.

  • In 2020, 19% of Mac owners who purchased a new Mac had a previous device that was less than one year old.
  • In 2020, there were equal percentages (23%) of Mac owners who purchased a new Mac and had a previous device that was 1-2 years old or 2-3 years old.
  • In 2020, the largest percentage (40%) of Mac owners who purchased a new Mac had a previous device that was three or more years old.
  • In 2024, the percentage of Mac owners who purchased a new Mac and had a previous device that was less than one year old (13%) decreased.
  • In 2024, the percentage of Mac owners who purchased a new Mac and had a previous device that was 1-2 years old (23%) slightly increased.
  • In 2024, there was a decrease in the percentage of Mac owners who purchased a new Mac and had a previous device that was 2-3 years old (19%).
  • In 2024, the largest percentage (45%) of Mac owners who purchased a new Mac had a previous device that was three or more years old.

It’s clear that Apple needs to find new ways to sell its devices and attract more Apple users; it could either be via introducing new devices like Apple Vision Pro or a substantially different variant of an existing device like the rumored Apple Vision “Lite” or perhaps, making old devices obsolete of the new upcoming tech, like latest iPhone 15’s base and Plus variant can’t use on device features of Apple Intelligence.

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